Friday, November 12, 2010

Orphan Care, Water and Cruiseships, Oh My!

When we were on our 13 hour drive round the Ethiopian countryside, I saw countless women and children carrying these giant yellow plastic jugs.  Come to find out, these big yellow jugs were for water.  These women and children walked for miles.  Sometimes they walked all day.  Just for water!   Can you even imagine?  And when they finally arrived at the nearest river, the water was dirty and filled with organisms that were likely to make them sick.  Can we even imagine not being able to find clean, drinkable water, no mater how hard we tried?  What happens if you get sick and can't walk 5 miles to get water for your family?  If you spend your day walking, when can you work and make a living for your family?  How can something so simple, something we take for granted, be the biggest reason a single mother cannot provide for her children?  How in the world does Joseph's first father get his water, when he farms all day?  Is his oldest son old enough to fetch water?  Is there a river nearby?  Oh how my heart breaks into a million billion pieces when I begin to let my mind go down that path!

(Can I just take this moment to say that I am soooo sick of hearing about the "nightmare" these "poor souls" on this cruise ship had to endure.  I mean, yes, their vacations were ruined, and that really sucks for them.  But, if your biggest concern is eating food that doesn't taste good and not having enough fresh water to wash down your crap... Well, let's please not call it a nightmare and dedicate hours upon hours of news time to it, when there are actually millions of people who don't have enough water to LIVE.)   Okay, carefully stepping off my high horse....


What is THE answer to the orphan crisis?  Oh, how we wish it were that simple.  One beautiful answer is adoption, but that will never be THE answer.  Sympathetically sitting at our computers thinking 'someone ought to DO something about this' will never be the answer. 

One huge piece to the puzzle is "How do we prevent children from becoming orphans?"  Wow, if only I was smart enough to wrap my brain around that topic.  Water (or lack thereof) has played a huge role in creating orphans in Ethiopia.  Not everyone can adopt.  Not everyone should adopt.  But water - now that's something we can all do! 





Now that you've read my plea (and hopefully clicked on the link and given gobs of money), I will reward you with an amusing, ironic story, that is likely to really embarrass my mother.  When I was 5 years-old, we lived in a little rental house that had an old well that had gone dry, and the "water" that came out of the faucet was thick and brown (ironically, probably about the same quality as the water some of the aforementioned women walk miles for).  Lucky for us, there was a brand new gas station built across the street that had an outdoor faucet.  So my step-dad would cross the busy street several times a day to fill our two 5-gallon buckets with water.  I still have weird but vivid memories of my mom bathing at the kitchen sink.  Growing up, I always thought we were poor.  Now, I know we were rich!  How an Ethiopian would yearn for a faucet of clean, disease-free water, right across the street.  You can be a part in providing that!

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink ... Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me"  Matthew 25:35&40

5 comments:

  1. Hey my friend, it's so cool that God has us on the same page. I'm working on my birthday campaign with Charity: Water right now. I'm so excited to see all my friends chipping in to help provide this fundamental necessity for life. Click here to visit my birthday party...
    http://mycharitywater.org/ShannonJ

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  2. http://www.charitywater.org/ - we just talked about this at church. Here's another good website for donation for clean water.

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  3. jk it's the same website!

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  4. Shonda -

    I just found your website. We have just started the process of adopting a precious child from Ethiopia. I had to write after reading this post. I was so irritated by the same TV coverage of the "cruise ship nightmare". Give me a break. You had a place to sleep, you had clean water, you never went without food to eat...SUCK IT UP!

    My whole perspective on true need has changed 100% since we have started this journey to adopt. And my definition of nightmare is certainly NOT being stranded on a cruise ship for a few days.

    Thanks for posting this!!!

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  5. Shonda -

    I just found your website. We have just started the process of adopting a precious child from Ethiopia. I had to write after reading this post. I was so irritated by the same TV coverage of the "cruise ship nightmare". Give me a break. You had a place to sleep, you had clean water, you never went without food to eat...SUCK IT UP!

    My whole perspective on true need has changed 100% since we have started this journey to adopt. And my definition of nightmare is certainly NOT being stranded on a cruise ship for a few days.

    Thanks for posting this!!!

    ReplyDelete